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Compare 1587 edition: 1 Thus I beſeech the Lorde to guyde your harte in his holy vvayes, and to furniſh you vvith politike prudence and skilfull knovvledge, to gouerne in your eſtate and office, ſo as your doyngs may redounde to his glorie, the ſuretie of hir Maieſties do|minion there, your ovvne aduancement in Honour, and conſequently to the ſure ſupporte and peaceable quietneſſe of the true and loyall ſubiectes of that Realme.

Your honours moſt humble to commaunde, RAPHAEL HOLINSHED.

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¶ A Treatiſe contayning a playne and perfect Deſcription of Irelande, with an Introduction, to the better vnderſtanding of the Hyſtories, appartayning to that Iſlande: compyled by Richard Stanyhurst, and written to the Ryght Honorable, Syr Henry Sydney Knight, Lorde Deputie of Irelande, Lorde preſident of Wales, Knight of the moſt noble order of the Garter, and one of hir Maieſties priuie Counſell with|in hir realme of England.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 _MY VERY good Lorde, there haue beene diuers of late, that with no ſmall [...]oyle, and great commenda [...]ion, haue through|ly imployed themſelues, in [...]l|ling and packing togither the ſcrapings and fr [...]gments of the Hyſtorie of Ireland. Amõg which crow, my faſt friende, & inwarde com|pagnion, M. Edmond Campion, dyd ſo lear|nedly bequite himſelfe, in the penning of cer|tayne briefe notes, cõcerning that countrey, as certes it was greatly to be lamented, that eyther hys, theame had not béene ſhorter, or elſe his leaſure had not beene longer. For if Alexander were ſo ra [...]iſht with Homer hys hyſtorie, that notwithſtãding Therſites were a crabbed and a rugged dwarfe, being in out|warde feature ſo deformed, and in inwarde conditions ſo cr [...]ked, as he ſeemed to ſtande to no better ſtéede, then to leade Apes in h [...]ll, yet the valiaunt capitayne weighing, howe liuely the goldẽ Poet ſet foorth the ougly da [...]|deprat in his coulours, dyd ſooner wyſhe to be Homer his Therſites, then to be the Alexander of that doltiſh rythmour, which vndertooke, with his woodden verſes to blaſe his famous and martiall exploytes: howe much more ought Irelande (being in ſundry ages ſeized of diuers good and couragious Alexanders) ſore to long, & thirſte after ſo rare a clarcke, as M. Campion, who was ſo vpright in con|ſcience, ſo déepe in iudgement, ſo rype in elo|quence, as the countrey might haue bene wel aſſured, to haue had their hyſtorie truely re|ported, pithily handled, and brauely poliſhed.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Howbeit, although the gloſe of his fine a|bridgement, being macht with other mens dooings, bare a ſurpaſſing kinde of excellen|cie, yet it was ſo hudled vp in haſte, as in re|ſpect of a Campion his abſolute perfection, it ſéemed rather to be a work roughly hewed, then ſmoothly planed. Vpon which grounde the gentleman being willing, yt his ſo tender a ſuckling, hauing as yet but gréene bones, ſhould haue béene ſwadled and rockt in a cra|dle, till in tract of tyme the ioynctes thereof were knit, and growen ſtronger, yet notwith|ſtanding he was ſo croſt in the nycke of thys determination, that his hyſtorie in mitching wyſe wandred through ſundry hands, and be|ing therwithall in certaine places ſome what tyckle tongued (for M. Campion dyd learne it to ſpeake) and in other places ouer ſpare, it twi [...]led more tales out of ſchoole, and drow|ned weightyes matters in ſilence, then the [...]uctor vpon better view, and longer ſearche woulde haue permitted. This much being by the ſager ſorte poudered, and the perfection of the hyſtorie earneſtly deſired, I as one of the moſt, that could doe leaſt, was fully reſolued, to enriche M. Campion his Chronicle, with further additiõs. But weighing on the other ſide, that my courſe pack thréede coulde not haue béene ſ [...]tably knit with his ſine ſticke, & what a diſgrace it were, hungerly to botch vp a riche garment, by clowting it with pat|ches of ſundrye coulours, I was foorthwyth reclaymed from my former reſolution, rec|kening it for better, that my penne ſhoulde walke in ſuch wyſe in that craggie and bal|kiſhe way, as the truth of the matter being forepriced, I would neyther openly borrow, nor priuily imbezell, ought to any great pur|poſe from his hyſtorie. But as I was ham|mering that worke by ſtealthes on ye anuille, I was giuen to vnderſtande by ſome of mine acquaintaunce, that others had brought our rawe hyſtorie to that rypeneſſe as my paine, therein woulde ſéeme but néedeleſſe. Where|vpon being willing to be eaſed of the burden, and loath alſo in lurching wiſe to foreſtall a|ny man his trauayle, I was contented, to leaue them thumping in the forge, and quiet|lye to repayre to mine vſuall and priſtinate ſtudies, taking it not to ſtande with good ma|ners, lyke a flittering flye, to fall in an other man his diſhe. Howbeit, the little payne I tooke therin was not ſo ſecretly mewed with|in my cloſet, but it ſlipt out at one chincke or other, and romed ſo farre abroade, as it was whiſpered in their eares, who before were in the hyſtorie buſied. The gentlemen concey|uing a greater opinion of mée, then I was well able to vpholde, dealt very effectually with mée, that aſwell at their inſtaunce, as for the affection I bare my natiue countrey, I woulde put mine helping hand, to the buil|ding and perfecting of ſo commendable a EEBO page image 574 worke. Hauing breathed for a fewe dayes on this motion, albeit I knewe, that my worke was plumed with Doime, and at that time, was not ſufficientlye feathered to flée, yet I was by them weighed not to beare my ſelfe coy, by giuing mine entier friendes in ſo rea|ſonable a requeſt a ſquaimiſh repulſe. Wher|fore, my ſingular good Lorde, her [...] is layde downe to your Lordſhippe his view a briefe diſcourſe, with a iagged hyſtorie of a ragged Weale publicke. Yet as naked as at the firſt bluſhe it ſeemeth, if it ſhall ſtande wyth your Honour his pleaſure (whome I take to be an experte Lapidarie) at vacant houres to inſearche it, you ſhall finde therein ſtones of ſuch eſtimatiõ, as are woorthy to be coucht in riche and precious collets. And in eſpeciall your Lordſhip, aboue all others, in that you haue the charge of that countrey, may here be ſchooled, by a right line to leuell your go|uernement. For in peruſing this hyſtorie, you ſhall finde vice puniſhed, vertue rewar|ded, rebellion ſuppreſſed, loyaltie exalted, hautineſſe diſly [...]ed, courtiſie beloued, brybery deteſted, iuſtice embraced, polling Officers to there parpetuall ſhame reproued, and vp|right gouernours to their eternall fame ex|tolled. And [...]ruely, to my thinking, ſuch magi|ſtrates, as meane to haue a vigilant eye to their charge, can not beſtow their tyme bet|ter, then when they ſequence themſelues frõ the affayres of the wealpublicke, to recreate & quicken their ſpirites by reading the Chro|nicles, that decipher the gouernement of a wealepublicke. For as it is no ſmall commẽ|dacion, for one to beare the dooings of many, ſo it breedeth great admiration, generally to haue all thoſe qualities in one mã herboured, for which particularly diuers are eternized. And who ſo will be addicted to the reading of hyſtories, ſhall readily finde diuers euentes woorthy to be remembred, and ſundry ſounde examples daily to be followed. Vpon which grounde the learned haue, not without cauſe, adiudged an hyſtorie to be, the Marrowe of reaſon, the creame of experience, the ſappe of wyſedome, the pith of iudgement, the library of knowledge, the kernell of pollicie, the vn|foldreſſe of treacherie, the kalender of tyme, the lanterne of trueth, the lyfe of memorie, the doctreſſe of behauiour, the regiſter of an|tiquitie, the trumpet of chiualrie. And that our Iriſhe hyſtorie being diligently héeded, yéeldeth al theſe commodities. I truſt the in|different reader, vpon the vntwyning there|of, will not denie. But if any man his ſto|macke ſhall be founde ſo tenderly niced, or ſo deintily ſpyced, as that he may not, forſooth, digeſt the groſe draffe of ſo baſe a countrey, I doubt not, but your Lordſhip, who is throu|ghly acquaynted with the woorthineſſe of the Iſland, [...] perſwaded, [...] [...]eaue [...]h quaint and [...]courous repaſt [...]s, to féede on their coſtly and delicate Woodcockes, & wil|lingly to accept the louing preſent of your hearty welwiller.

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Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 But now after I had continued the historie, and inlarged it out of Giraldus Cam|brensis, Flatsburie, Henrie of Marleburgh, and other, till the yeare 1509, in which that famous prince Henrie the eight began his reigne; some of those that were to bestow the charges of the impression, procured a learned gentleman maister Ri|chard Stanihurst, to continue it from thense forward as he saw occasion, being fur|nished with matter to inlarge the worke, whereof for those latter times I found my selfe vtterlie void, more than that which Campion had deliuered. What I haue EEBO page image 3 doone heerein, your honors discretion shall easilie conceiue. For the imperfection sith it is the first that hath beene set foorth in print, I craue most humblie pardon of your good lordship, beseeching you rather to respect my good will than the per|fectnesse of the worke, which (the wants considered) for the orderlie furnishing thereof, is not to be looked for in the skilfull, much lesse in me the meanest of all, and least able to performe it. Hauing presented the right honourable the earle of Leicester with the historie of Scotland, to whom (as I haue heard) Campion made dedication of his booke, I could not remember me to whome I might more conue|nientlie offer this my trauell in this historie of Ireland, than to your lordship, be|ing hir maiesties lieutenant in that realme. And therefore in most humble wise I ex|hibit the booke to your honour, beseeching the same to beare with my bold at|tempt therein, and to receiue it in good part from him that wished to haue more amplie satisfied your good lordships expectation, if abilitie might haue answered good will. Thus I beseech the Lord to guide your heart in his holie waies, & to fur|nish you with politike prudence and skilfull knowledge to gouerne in your estate and office, so as your dooings may redound to his glorie, the suertie of hir ma|iesties dominion there, your owne aduancement in honour, and conse|quentlie to the sure support and peaceable quietnesse of the true and loiall subiects of that realme.

Your honours most humble to command, RAPHAEL HOLINSHED.

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¶ The authors out of whom this historie of Ireland hath beene gathered.

    Compare 1577 edition: 1
  • Giraldus Cambrensis.
  • Flatsburie.
  • Henricus Marleburgensis.
  • Saxo Grammaticus.
  • Albertus Crantz.
  • Rogerus Houeden.
  • Guilielm. Paruus Nouoburgensis.
  • Polychronicon, siue Ranulfus Higeden.
  • Iohannes Bale.
  • Edmund Campion.
  • Records and rolles diuers.

The contents of the chapters following in the description of Ireland.

  • 1 The names of Ireland, with the com|passe of the same, also what shires or counties it conteineth, the diuision or partition of the land, and of the language of the people. Chap. 1.
  • 2 Of the nature of the soile and other incidents. Chap. 2.
  • 3 The names of the ciuities, boroughs, and hauen towns in Ireland. Chap. 3.
  • 4 Of the strange and woonderfull pla|ces in Ireland. Chap. 4.
  • 5 Of the lords spirituall of Ireland, their names and dignities. Chap. 5.
  • 6 The lords temporall, as well Eng|lish as Irish, which inhabit the coun|trie of Ireland. Chap. 6.
  • 7 The names or surnames of the lear|ned men and authors of Ireland, and what bookes they wrote. Chap. 7.
  • 8 The disposition and maners of the meere Irish, commonlie called the wild Irish. Chap. 8.